The fall of 2020 was, to put it mildly, not great. And in and amongst everything that made it not great, I decided to finally pull the trigger on a project that had been percolating in my mind for over three years at that point. An art project, wherein I would experience one work of art every day and then write about it. There is nothing that I love more in this world than experiencing art, and in the fall of 2020, I was very much in need of some joy in my life. And so, in October of 2020, The Daily Hart was born.
Three years later, I have now completed three Daily Hart challenges. I have also experienced and learned more than I ever thought possible when I first began this project in 2020, and it has brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined. The Daily Hart has enriched my life in countless ways; in my knowledge of the world and its many cultures, in what I’ve learned from the artists that I’ve featured, and in the happiness they have brought me throughout the years. Not a day goes by that I don’t encounter something that I’ve learned through The Daily Hart or I use that knowledge in some way. And every time this happens, I’m reminded of how grateful I am that I finally took that leap and started this project three years ago.
My goal for this year’s challenge was to return to the format of the first year and experience a work of art by a new (to me) artist every day. I also set myself the goal of featuring artists from at least 100 different countries. And I’m thrilled to say that I met that goal, however just under the wire it may have been, when I featured my 100th country earlier this past week. I also experienced another wide range of artistic mediums, including fashion design, pole dancing, and Korean pansori productions. I discovered all female death metal bands, traditional dances from around the world, and stunningly talented photographers. And I thankfully was able to feature more in-person experiences now that the world has opened back up. It was an incredible year of art, but it also was very difficult.
This year’s challenge officially began on November 1st, 2022, and therefore it should have ended on October 31st, 2023. However, due to technical difficulties and life getting in the way, this didn’t happen. I wrote that first daily helping while in a hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. And since then, I’ve written posts while in Japan, Scotland, England, Canada, France (of course), and most recently, South Korea. More than a few daily helpings were late in being published, and I’ve been behind on posting on social media more often than I’ve been up to date. And as I headed into the final months of this challenge, I realized something. The Daily Hart was no longer my favourite part of the day.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love experiencing art more than anything else in this world. And I will never be able to adequately put into words the joy that I derive from doing so. But the actual task of writing about it every day and publishing these posts gradually transformed The Daily Hart from something that I got to do, to something that I had to do. And that was when I knew that The Daily Hart’s days were numbered.
I love this project for so many reasons. I love discovering new art and artists, I love learning, and I love art. And because of this, I have loved the past three years and everything I have experienced through The Daily Hart. But I always knew that the minute this project became a chore rather than a genuinely joyful activity, that would be the end for me. Which is why I’ve decided that with the completion of this year’s challenge, this will be the end of The Daily Hart. I will still continue to seek out and experience new art and artists every day. I just won’t be writing about them as part of a formal project and challenge. That writing energy is now going to be diverted elsewhere, as after three years of experiencing other people’s art, I’m finally ready to try and create some of my own.
But before I do that, I want to thank everyone who has supported this project over the past three years. Knowing that people were reading and enjoying my daily helpings of art has been incredibly motivating to keep going. I hope you have all been inspired to seek out more art (or whatever it is that brings you joy) in your lives. I will be keeping this website live for the foreseeable future as a record of the past three years, so if you want to read up on my earlier adventures, explore away. And who knows? Maybe in the future I will miss this so much I’ll be inspired to try a fourth Daily Hart challenge. Never say never.
However, for the time being, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to all the artists who have had such a profound impact on my life. Thank you to every single person who has encouraged me on this journey. And thank you to anyone who has ever been brave enough to create art and put it out into the world. Hopefully I’ll be as brave as you one day.